Martinez noted the prevalence of the various "Without Borders" professional groups across the United States and echoed sentiments that borders were things created by people.
Amidst the confusion, Miguel bumped into the shorter boy, knocking his sombrero to the ground and inciting more well intentioned laughter from the crowd.
When organizers pointed, instructing him to exit the stage on the Omega Constellation 27mm Mexican side, Miguel's Mexican counterpart mistook those instructions for him.
But there is a nervousness, hardly perceptible by the adults in the audience, that grips each child as he or she takes the stage. They fight through it, but each of them knows there's a chance they'll have to hug a member of the opposite sex over the Rio Grande.
Martinez said he remembered when the bridge was simply opened and people were allowed to cross both ways for free. Developments on both sides of the border and enhanced security in recent decades have made opportunities for events like Hands Across the Border more rare, but in the schools, instructors show that ideas and cultures can't be held back by bridges and fences.
Luigi Cristiano admitted that apart from a bit of fear over messing up the exchange, the prospect of having to hug a girl in front of the hundreds of people that crowded the Gateway International Bridge only intensified his stress.
Richard Zayas, a 9 year old who took part in the exchange, said this week his teacher gave him and his classmates an assignment to envision a flag of unity for the two cultures.
of the border maintained security, Martinez concurred with suggestions that the border was nothing more Omega Seamaster Trilogy For Sale
Miguel said the laughter didn't faze him, though he did try to exit the stage the wrong way.
"This is so symbolic," he said, suggesting that countries throughout the world should take note of the event and culture along the United States southern border. "If our two cultures can get together, anyone can get together."
exchanges elicited similar guffaws from those gathered, illustrating the lightheartedness of the event and the friendship between the two countries.
The 11 year old from St. Mary's Catholic School had little to be nervous about during the Hands Across the Border event, which unites the Matamoros Fiestas Mexicanas with Brownsville's Charro Days. This was his third time exchanging gifts and flags with counterparts from Mexico.
Using three stripes one for Matamoros, one for Brownsville and one for unity he created a flag that aimed to illustrate the bond between the two cities.
He was happy to shake hands with a young boy from Mexico, who gifted him a colorful wooden blocks game akin to Jenga, but things didn't go so smoothly for Miguel.
"We are the human family," he said. "We may be from different origins, but we are all human beings."
"I didn't feel embarrassed. I felt like everybody was enjoying themselves," he said.
While federal and local law enforcement officers on either side Omega Speedmaster Professional Mark Ii
than a river, with Charro Days and Fiestas Mexicanas acting as a modern opportunity to re enact the openness between the borders that now seems like ancient history.
The sombrero wearing boy who approached him from the southern end of the stage could barely hold the toy and flag as he passed it off to Miguel. The toy dropped to the ground at least once while the crowd chuckled.
Children exchange gifts
"A little bit," he admitted after the exchange.
That, Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez said, is what makes the Hands Across the Border event his favorite among this week's festivities.
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